By Bham and Wamie
As told to Amber Salud
Preparing for the Great Move
Wammie resigned from her job despite the clear restraint from her manager. Together, Bham and Wamie sold all their belongings. While the news about the move did not sit well with Wamie’s mother, the local church they were a part of greatly encouraged them and released them with blessing to do the Lord’s work in China. And for Bham and Wamie, this was all the confirmation they needed.
In 5 months, their small family of three moved to China. They only had 500USD in their pockets and one balikbayan box filled with their belongings. Hand in hand, they followed the Lord’s call to China in 2004.
The first few years of their move was marked by difficulty in so many levels. It was difficult because they had to do everything all by themselves and all on their own, unlike in the Philippines where they had two household helpers. In China, the couple didn’t have a house of their own either. They were merely co-living with another missionary family who shared their food.
Bham and Wamie had no money for themselves, nor for the ministry. They struggled buying drinking water. Bham often needed to ride a bus to reach a friend’s house where he could fill his backpack of empty bottles with water. Even buying food was a real challenge. Their diet at this time mainly consisted of tofu and pancakes, as these were the cheapest produce they could afford. What made this situation heavy in their hearts was the fact that they had a 3-year-old with them who requested for dolls, chocolates, and candies that they couldn’t afford.
At times, Bham and Wamie felt abandoned because they didn’t have supporters and they didn’t have work. They spent their pocket money on Bham’s classes since his visa was a student’s visa. He still had to enroll in further studies.
In one instance, the couple, together with their daughter, came from a prayer meeting. It was winter and the weather was extremely cold. They asked God for a miracle because they didn’t have the fare to get home. Walking was not an option since it would be a very long walk and they had a child with them.
Wamie attempted the cash advance option on her credit card, but to no avail. In the cold of that winter night, in between their chattering teeth and shivering bodies, Bham swallowed his pride, put on a brave face, and borrowed money from one of their friends just to get home.
Being the provider of the family, Bham felt bad seeing his family like this. A little anger towards the Lord grew in his heart. On one of his walks home, he almost gave up. He was ready to tell Wamie that they made a mistake and must return to the Philippines.
When he opened the door to their house, he saw Wamie and their daughter propped on the really old sofa donated to them. Wamie played the guitar while she and her daughter sang… “In my life, Lord, be glorified.” The women in his life worshipped the Lord. They sang to the Lord. Bham sat beside them and had a change of heart. His attitude changed. From then on, he stopped complaining. He stopped comparing the life they used to have and the life that God had given them now.
While the situation didn’t improve right away, they accepted their situation and the peace ruled their hearts. They understood that they were in China to glorify God with their lives.
After a few months, God started to bless them. Bham and Wamie were able to find part-time jobs that allowed them to buy food and their essentials.
Young Chinese people are taught at an early age that they shouldn’t believe in God. They are also an intellectual bunch. They offer a corresponding rebuttal to every Biblical concept. The simple things in the Bible become complicated as Bham and Wamie meet students in their English corner.
There was one student in particular who was very intellectual in his thinking. The concept of God’s love didn’t make sense to him until he was brought to an orphanage where Bham and Wamie volunteered to work on weekends. When he witnessed how Bham and Wamie cared for the children and nurtured them without expecting for anything in return, something in him clicked. He saw God’s love. This young and intellectual Chinese student finally believed in Jesus.
Bham and Wamie soon realized that they had to model God’s love so that these young people could understand. They may have had opinions on what they heard, but the witness of love influenced them more.
And so Bham and Wamie continued working in their English corner. They cooked and fed the young students who particularly loved adobo and then talked about the Word after meals. Eventually, their group of 5 students grew to 10, 20, 30… until they had to divide the English corner center because they could not fit anymore. God expanded their ministry and even allowed them to pioneer a church where their workers were their firstfruits in the English corner. They even hosted camps for students to get to know the Lord and for them to be baptized.
In 2009, God expanded their ministry, establishing their English corners in 5 different universities. God also blessed them with a new addition to their family, a baby boy.
In 2020, when the Coronavirus hit, Bham and Wamie were still in China. The ministry was put on a halt due to the virus.
Gatherings of any kind are still banned in China. With the support other students in the English corner who are now young professionals, they are able to do charity work in their region.
The new direction that God gave them in 2004 led them to deeper levels of trusting the Lord and caused them to encounter the strong love of the Lord for China.
Today, Bham and Wamie are still faithfully serving the Lord in China. With their two children, they are bringing hope to the lives of the young people in their region through the life of Jesus. They are both legally working as teachers to help support not only their personal lives, but also the ministry.
Editor’s Note: Due to the kind of work that Bham and Wamie have in China, their photos cannot be shown in this article.